Keith Williams (Victoria, Canada) and Ding Zai Gang (Guangdong, China) came together through their shared goal of creating a downhill mountain bike course around the rural village of Xia Bao near Hangzhou in China. Mountain biking is a young sport in China with biking often seen as a way of getting around rather than a recreational activity. With few places to mountain bike, both Keith and Ding were excited to create a new downhill track.
There were many challenges to overcome. Language was as issue as Ding knew little English, and Keith wasn’t great at Chinese. There were no roads to the mountain, so they had to hump barrels of diesel up the mountain to power the machinery and dig sections of the track by hand. They spent two years hiking the mountains together, marking out exciting courses, building them, and taking treacherous first rides themselves. It was exhausting work but their shared love of riding pulled them through, making them close friends.
Now the park — Brave Peak Bike Park — is finished it has become one of the finest downhill mountain biking courses in China and Keith and Ding’s aim to engage more people in the sport has been realized. Keith predicts that China will soon be one of the biggest countries in the world for downhill mountain biking.